1995:moments to be remembered
Last literary function presided over by Mumtaz Mufti with his sever illness
Puritan approach makes our literature stagnant: Fakhar Zaman
Launch of four books by young writer Hameed Shahid; Renowned novelist and short story writer Mumtaz Mufti presided over the function
Islamabad- “Literary fundamentalism and puritan approach has made our literature stagnant. Those who experimented in this field of art were always criticized by traditionalists who regard form more important then the content which is unfortunate”.
These views were expressed by Fakhar Zaman, Chairman Pakistan Academy of Letters at a function organized by Fikri Tehrik at a local hotel to launch four books by young writer Muhammad Hameed Shahid on Wednesday.
Renowned novelist and short story writer Mumtaz Mufti presided over the function and the speakers included beside others Mansha Yaad, Mohsin Ahsan, Jalil Aali, Bashir Hussain Nazim, Sarfaraz Shahid, Farkhanda Shaheen, Amjad Tufail and Chairman Fikri Tehrik Islamabad, Dr Ijaz Hanif.
Fakhar Zaman whileaddressing the audience as the chief guest said that in Pakistan a controversy started about the “Prose Poems” many years back which has not ended yet. “In my opinion all this debate is irrelevant and I will advise Hameed Shahid not to be apologetic about the form of the poems which he has written in free verse as one who create something new is far better than the slaves of tradition”.
Nostalgia has caused great damage to Urdu literature and it is high time we got rid of hackneyed expressions and clichés in our literature, he suggested. PAL chief said that Kafka became popular because he experimented new styles in his works. He advised the men of letters to come forward and work for social changes as our society needs their guidance and the theory of art for the sake of art is more relevant. He said the writers of today are misfit in what he called an abnormal society. Tolstoy, Iqbal, Hasrat Mohani and Faiz led their respective nations and today’s corrupt and senseless society needs a literacy figure of that caliber who can lead it at this crucial stage, he said emphatically.
“PAL will translate the works of representative poets and novelists in other languages of the world so that they are recognized world over, Fakhar Zaman promised. About the books of Hameed Shahid he said that the author has a touch with the earth and he has used diction embellished with words from regional languages which gives sweet fragrance of our own culture.
Famous author Mumtaz Mufti did not speak due to illness. Mansha Yaad said that Hameed Shahid is not only a poet he is also a critic and playwright as well. He is not that sort of writer who writes just to show that they have authored many books. Commenting on the book of short stories “Band Ankhoon Sey Parey” he said the stories in this work are written in beautiful diction.
Mohsin Ahsan spoke on “Lamhoon Ka Lams” a book of blank verse and said it is good attempt on the part of author. He gave brief history of “Nasri Nazm” in Urdu literature.
Humorous poet Sarfraz Shahid opined the influence of great humorists like Zamir Jafri and Anwer Masood might have forced him to write. ‘Alf sey Athkhelian’ which is primarily written for children but reflect our social, political issues and problems.
Jalil Aali who read out an article on ‘Lamhoon Ka Lams’ said that the author preaches peace and goodwill.
Dr Ijaz Hanif said that the launching ceremony of ‘Band Aankhon Sey Parey’ was scheduled to be held last year but was delayed as Hameed has Written three more books in this period.
Pakistan Observer; October 12, 1995